Wednesday 13 July 2011
George H W Bush as Director of the CIA
George H W Bush was Director of the CIA in 1976. He replaced William Colby who came in after the Watergate scandal broke. In December 1974, Investigative journalist Seymour Hersh broke the news of the "Family Jewels" in a front-page article in The New York Times, revealing that the CIA had assassinated foreign leaders, and had conducted surveillance on some seven thousand American citizens involved in the antiwar movement (Operation CHAOS).
Colby believed that the CIA had a moral obligation to cooperate with the Congress and demonstrate that the CIA was accountable to the Constitution. This caused a major rift within the CIA ranks, with many old-line officers such as former DCI Richard Helms believing that the CIA should have resisted congressional intrusion. In steps George H W Bush.
Bush's confirmation as the Director of Central Intelligence was opposed by many politicians and citizens who were still reeling from the Watergate scandal (when Bush was the head of the Republican National Committee, and a steadfast defender of Nixon) and the Church Committee investigating whether CIA-ordered foreign assassinations were being directed towards domestic officials, including President Kennedy. Bush was replaced as director of the CIA by Stansfield Turner who was appointed by President Jimmy Carter.
I'm not going to claim that the Bush family were the creators of the CIA corruption but I will say they were directly tied to it. The first obvious record of serious CIA corruption was under Allen W. Dulles who was a friend of the Bush family and helped cover up their dealings with Nazi Germany during the war. Dulles worked with Barry Seal and was the Director of the CIA who signed and submitted Operation Northwoods. Before that Dulles was involved with Operation Ajax in Iran.
Having the Rockefeller Commission investigate the CIA's involvement with Watergate and assassinations was as ironic as appointing Allen Dulles to the Warren Commission to investigate CIA corruption and involvement with JFK's assassination.